To help kids succeed, this rural school gets help from unusual sources. Dentists, for example.

(This is the fourth in a series of posts about schools named as winners in the 2015-16 Schools of Opportunity project. You can find the first post here and the second here and the third here.)

2016 schools of opportunityIf you listen to the school reform debate these days, you would be forgiven for thinking that public schools across the board are failing students and that schools that are struggling can only improve if they fire all of their staff, become a charter school or let the state take them over. It’s just not so.

This is clear in a project called the Schools of Opportunity, launched a few years ago by educators who sought to highlight public high schools that actively seek to close opportunity gaps through 11 research-proven practices and not standardized test scores (which are more a measure of socioeconomic status than anything else).

The project assesses how well schools provide health and psychological support for students, judicious and fair discipline policies, high-quality teacher mentoring programs, outreach to the community, effective student and faculty support systems, and broad and enriched curriculum. Schools submit applications explaining why they believe their school should be recognized.

Read more here....